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Coming soon: 2019 Honda e Prototype

The Honda Urban EV concept was one of the most popular concept cars at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and at this year’s Geneva show, Honda will preview the production model.

Words by: First published: 27th February 2019
  • Around a 120-mile range
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Cute, retro design
Honda will show a production version of its new all-electric vehicle, the e Prototype, at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The little EV will rival the likes of the Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and VW e-Up.

The concept car – known as the Honda Urban EV – was originally shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2017, and won lots of fans for its quirky retro styling. Interestingly, Honda had already designed the production car, and built the concept afterwards to show bosses there was an appetite for this type of vehicle.
Compared to the concept car, the production vehicle is a bit bigger, has rear doors, and has lost those big (20-inch!), white, multispoke wheels. They’ve been replaced by standard 16-inch wheels, or optional 17-inch ones.

Design elements you might notice in particular are the ‘pop out’ door handles which will usually sit flush against the sides of the car, and Honda has gone down the Audi e-Tron route and replaced its side view mirrors with cameras.

The car’s charging port is integrated in the centre of the bonnet so you can access it from either side of the car, and it features LED lighting visible through the glass cover so drivers can be kept up to date on the battery charging status.

It is one happy looking little car.
Although the exterior might look rather retro, the interior is decidedly modern and quite minimalist. Honda has included lots of soft fabrics and materials to give the car a lounge-like feel. There’s also a flat floor front and rear to increase the feeling of space.

And there’s plenty of tech. There’s a customisable dual screen horizontal display made up of two 12.3-inch screens, which you can use to access various apps and services.

At each corner, 6.0-inch screens show the driver the view from the camera ‘door mirrors', and there are smaller digital panels to replace conventional instruments.
The e Prototype will have a range of around 120 miles on the WLTP cycle, and a fast charge functionality, meaning you can charge the battery to 80% capacity in around 30 minutes.

Honda says the driving dynamics are focused on delivering a fun and emotive experience, and it will be rear-wheel drive.

The car will be the first battery-electric Honda to be sold in Europe, and is seen as a major step towards the company’s commitment to two-thirds of its European sales being electrified by 2025.

The Honda e Prototype will go into production towards the end of 2019, and order books are likely to open in the next few months. There’s no word on price yet, but don’t expect it to be particularly cheap.

Read more about which cars will be seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

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